Doctors call for awareness after sharp rise in skin cancer

Doctors call for awareness after sharp rise in skin cancer

According to official figures, the number of people admitted to hospital with skin cancer has increased by nearly a third over 5 years.

Research carried out by Public Health England shows that the number of people admitted with skin cancer rose from 87,685 in 2006 to 123,808 in 2011.

Skin cancer is one of the of the most common forms of cancer, with overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light – which comes from the sun as well as artificial lights like sunbeds and sun lamps – being one of the main causes.

The first sign of skin cancer is usually a lump or patch on the skin that doesn’t heal after a few weeks. You should see your GP if you notice a change in your skin or you have a mole that is:

• Getting bigger
• Changing shape, particularly getting an irregular edge
• Changing colour – getting darker, becoming patchy or multi shaded
• Loss of symmetry – the two halves of your mole do not look the same
• Itching or painful
• Bleeding or becoming crusty
• Looking inflamed

Dr Jack Kinsey, a local GP and NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) board member, said: “These figures show that more precautions need to be taken when it comes to protecting our skin; just because the summer holidays are over, it doesn’t mean the sun isn’t strong enough to cause damage.

“As with all cancers, it’s best to talk to your GP as early as possible if you recognise any of the symptoms. You can stay safe in the sun by using sunscreen and wearing the right clothing, while avoiding overuse of sunbeds will also help.”

To find out more about local health services and which ones to use, click on the following link: Do you know what your options are this winter?

To find out more about skin cancer, please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/Cancer-of-the-skin